DOH Presents Funding for First Year of Implementation of Universal Health Care Law
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assures that the Department of Health (DOH) has enough funds to implement the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law this year. He stated that P254.8 billion has been allotted for the first year of implementation of the new law, a slight shift from his initial estimate of P257 billion last February 21.
Secretary Duque added that funding for the UHC Law will be sourced from the national budget of the DOH, charity fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), income from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and government subsidies. The DOH will also rely on sin taxes on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes for additional funding.
Signed into law by President Duterte on February 20 of this year, the UHC Law, otherwise known as Republic Act 11223, aims to implement major reforms in the health care sector in the Philippines to guarantee access to quality and affordable health care services for all Filipinos.
Under the UHC Law, every Filipino citizen will be granted automatic eligibility and immediate access to all health care services available in the Philippines, such as medical, dental, mental, and emergency health services. They will automatically be enrolled with a primary health care provider of their choice and will no longer be required to present their PhilHealth ID when availing health benefits.
At present, DOH and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), along with concerned agencies, are crafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the UHC Law to ensure its effective implementation. Both DOH and PhilHealth are given 180 days from the passage of the law to finish drafting its IRR.
Secretary Duque also reminds the public that the law would, at the earliest, be implemented after six months.